Friday, June 22, 2018


Several people went out and did things, but nothing recorded except this photo.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Bernard, Dick, Frank H, Fred, Gerald, Paul and RJ were available today.

Dick, Frank H and Gerald worked on in-house tasks at White Ribbon.

Dick serviced, cleaned and test-ran all the strimmers. An impressive mechanical performance:- he now has the title 'CROWS strimmer-man, in chief''!

Frank H and Gerald did mainly 'timber' work. Namely:

  • A selection of waymarker posts were cut and their shaped tops painted. 
  • A stock of standard cross-treads, risers and stobs were cut:- the storage rack is now full! 
  • Cross-treads and stobs specific to Mick C's Noah Dale footbridges were cut to specifications and bagged-up ready for transport. Mmm! Hope there is plenty of willing muscle for the trek over Hoof Stones Height!
  • A cluttered alcove containing various wire netting, pipework and signs was cleared out and the items re-stored to facilitate access and optimise working space.

No pictures were taken:- stobs, posts and cross-tread have limited photogenic appeal!

The others disappeared into the depths of Cragg Vale. Details of their mission may appear later!

Friday, June 15, 2018


A gang of seven (magnificent or otherwise) out today:- Mick, Frank H, Frank S, Nigel, Ian, Ginny and Gerald. The task was to replace a footbridge over a stream in Noah Dale** which runs along the Heptonstall-Blackshaw Head boundary. Noah Dale is taxing even for experienced walkers. On a poor day its remote, featureless, boggy terrain makes for difficult walking and uncertain navigation. Fortunately we had a dry day on the back of several weeks of unusually dry weather. Hooray!

The first task was to carry all the timber and tools across the moorland to what remained of the bridge. Mick described it as a pleasant, leisurely, 30 min stroll carrying a few items. Reality was double . . .  double the time, double the load and double the effort!

The work party lifting tools and timber over a stile

The ruined footbridge collapsed into a gully

The bridge is partly rotted but enough can be salvaged to construct a short-span (and possibly short-term) crossing suitable for dry conditions. The original (longer) footbridge will also be rebuilt to provide walkers with a permanent, all-weather alternative. 

Frank H and Gerald dismantle the old bridge while Ian and Nigel construct steps for the new short-span position. 

Measuring-up to make best economical use of old but sound material.

Moving the shortened stringer to the new position.

One stringer in place on the recycled bearers.
It's a work in progress! More pictures to follow after the next session.

Meanwhile the synchronised digging squad produced a ditch to divert water so that the approach area to the bridges would be able to dry out prior to the next phase of construction.

Frank S:- deadly with an azad!

On the command! One, Two, Three . . .  Dig!

The next stage involves a delivery by CALVAG of stringers (4.5 m x 125 mm x 125 mm) and other items that some strong, fit, young volunteers will carry (probably at a jog) across the moor to the worksite. Good luck, guys!

(NB: ** Noah Dale. Named after Noah the biblical character adrift on an endless ocean in a wooden boat carrying two of every creature. Mmm! ... Two termites, two deathwatch beetles, two woodpeckers! ... a wooden boat! ... no land in sight! . . . !!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MIDGELY MOOR: Churn Milk Joan

Three teams out today! Team 1: Frank H and Graham. Team 2 Stella, Gerald and Stuart. Team 3 Bernard, Dick and Fred.

Frank H and Graham went onto Midgley Moor to work just below the Churn Milk Joan standing stone.

'A lonely stone
Afloat in the stone heavings of emptiness
Keeps telling her tale . . . '

(Ted Hughes: Remains of Elmet, 1979)

As the full version of Hughes' poem suggests, it is unlikely that the milkmaid (Churn Milk Joan) ever existed. If she had, and had available the type of work CROWS did today she would have survived the blizzard . . . . but consequently would never have passed into local folklore!

Marker posts and waymarking were the problems for today.

Some posts were down:

Marker post out of hole.

Post re-positioned, waymarks added and top painted.

Some posts were missing:

Confusing fork in path, especially for walkers trying to follow the Calderdale Way.

New marker post with signage, as needed, on three sides for Public Footpath, Calderdale Way and Churn Milk Joan route.

Some needed restoration:

Loose old post now in place with new waymarks and painted top.
Don't forget the map.

Post painting.

During the day we were visited by the landowner and his brother
who were surveying drainage problems on the moor.
Our improvements were given the thumbs up. 

Overall, one new post was put in place; three loose posts were completely dug out to be re-positioned; five smaller posts were 'firmed' up and tops were painted . . . until the paint ran out!
The re-positioned posts all carry a 'lifetime guarantee'  . . . although what this actually means is still puzzling Frank and Graham!

Friday, June 8, 2018


Gerald, Eleanor, Peter and Ginny went to tackle Daisy Bank, first surveyed in the winter when we wondered what to do with all the mud.  It is now like concrete and the task was to widen and level the narrow path to fill in the deep gully in the middle - also a bit of cutting back.

Various tactics were tried

with quite pleasing results

but there's plenty more to do and we're only half way up!